How did I end up here?!

Well.....first I quit my job....but here's why.......

At age 37 I was reaping the rewards of a successful career working for a global technology firm. Professionally, I was steadily promoted, tapped to spearhead projects, build a team from the ground up, and was recognized as a leader within the company. Personally, I was exploring my passion and curiosity for travel, music, food, exercise, and spending quality time with family and friends. From the outside looking in, I was ambitious, happy and living a rich life. Inside, however, I was depressed, stressed out, burned out, anxious, overweight, confused and frustrated as to why I felt completely unfulfilled. I found myself questioning everything, "is this how my life is going to be?"

After hitting the proverbial wall time and time again, I finally decided to go to the doctor for help. What felt like endless doctor visits and tests later it was determined that I was suffering from extremely elevated cortisol (fight or flight hormone) levels. The most sobering conversation came from an endocrinologist who said that may be caused by chronic stress & anxiety... or a tumor on my brain. Wait. WHAT???

Fortunately, more tests revealed it was not a tumor, but rather, I had been living in a state of constant stress. My "prescription" was "go do yoga and meditation" and was sent on my not-so-merry way. Uh...ok, great...that's it? Seriously?? I was stunned.

That experience shook me to the core and inevitably propelled me to action. What followed was the beginning of a personal journey of intense introspection, self-reflection, reading voraciously and regular journaling. I began seeing my psychologist regularly, started researching food & nutrition, watched documentaries and went to weekly Meditation 101 classes at the Buddhist center. I was learning so much, yet still could not shake the dark cloud that hung over me.

The pivotal moment for me came in the form of a "cold-hard-truth-conversation" with my sister following yet another extreme meltdown. I had a decision to make. And that was to take back control of my health and happiness, starting with walking away from a successful career. Gut check. Can I really do this? Talk about a giant leap of faith. Well, I went for it and haven't looked back.

I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and felt immediately, like I'd been struck by a bolt of lightning, that I was 100% exactly where I needed to be. For the first time in my life, I felt that I had found my true passion and purpose in life and it was time to pursue it. The seed was planted years ago when I was studying Psychology at NC State but life happened and I veered off course. Now, I've come full circle, back to my roots. I've always wanted to help others, it's in my nature and DNA. I would not exchange any of the experiences and struggles I've been through. They taught me countless lessons and gave me the tools I need to do my life's work - to inspire others to live a healthy, vibrant, authentic, balanced life.

The timing could not be more ripe. The battle for work-life balance is reaching epic proportions. Our 24/7 culture demands that we remain plugged in and "always on" by proudly wearing our “crazy busy” badge of honor. Gone unchecked, this lifestyle has major ramifications, as I’ve personally experienced. Learning how to manage stress using healthy lifestyle tools like yoga & meditation, eating nourishing foods and developing self-care rituals to feed my body, mind and spirit all require daily effort and close attention. But let's be honest, I'm not perfect, far from it, I'm a work-in-progress. My mission and passion is to inspire others to discover what a healthy balance means to them, through a holistic lens.